Ok, so this is going to end mid chapter, but thats because I get limeted chances to post this, like this is my first that i had both internet and my laptop. (No way in HELL im typing this on a phone word for word. Love you guys, but i wouldent do that to save my guitars. And your only .00000000000000000000001 percent away from tieing with those. Sorry, still love you, not sorry.) So HERE WE GO! ENJOY IT!
Failing 101: For the Losers
Hey, Im Mathew Porter, and this is the story of how I went from top student, to the class fail. From never breaking a rule, to sitting in the police department. From being rejected by the nerds, to loved by the preps. Most of all, from going from zero, to hero. I am Mathew Porter, Kid who went from scared of girls, to winning the prom queen. All thanks to Daren Tints. My teacher, savior, and best friend. well, something along these lines. its a little exagerated, but youll see.
Chapter One: NEW KID!
My names Mathew Porter. I live with my mom, who thought a great way for me to start Freshmen year would be to change schools. YAY! In all honesty, its not going to change a thing. My one friend, Danny Hills, left the state with his parents right before we finished our last day of middle school, but back to changing schools. It would seem this year, instead of going to East Longtown High, home of the Knights, I will be going to Red River High School... Home of the Sharks. Question: Is the place I'm going to dumb enough to think that rivers have sharks? Not that it matters. It just means the jerks of the school will have new faces, the preps new cloths, and the nerds new obsessions. I'll sit in the library every day at lunch just like before because no one will sit with me. Ok, no one will let me sit with them.
Day one of Red River High. Mom says "Its best to try and impress!" so she has me wearing Kahkis, brown shoes, and a shirt that Im really not sure where its from or what it is, but theres a guy with a stick riding a horse on it. It looks like prep wear from my old school. If this was more comfortable maybe I could fit in with the preps at my old school. It's not what I wear, beacuse I hate it. I can't stand when I have to wear anything outside of my normal tighter black jeans, dirty old converse, and a solid color shirt. I learned argueing with her is useless. Even if I'm compleatly reasonable, I'm being ungreatful. From what I got from talks about it with Danny, thats normal. I tell her that its more important I wear what's comfortable to keep me from being distracted, but that's not enough for her. The whole car ride she keeps telling me how, "These are going to be the years you'll want back", "Do your best to make people like you", and "You're going to meet the people you will rely on most when your my age". I don't even get why people say that, they only rember maybe ten percent of the class mates. This is all I hear the half hour car ride to my new school.
I'm now at the front door to my new school. Looking through the glass door, a lot like my old school. People wear the same things, and all talk of the same things. I go to the office to get my schedule. I meet the principle, Mrs. Vernsen, and she calls down a student to show me the school sense I missed oreintation. I sit in the office and watch the secretary work. He's a short man, with a bald head barly poking over the desk, and what I do see of his face I see small eyes with a pudgy nose. I see no name plate thing on the desk, so he'll stay "Mr. Pudgy" to me. I see a kid walk in, who if my mom saw what he wore on his first day, she would faint. Black jeans that are tighter than mine, a black shirt that has a smiley face with X'ed out eyes, and a pair of fingerless black leather gloves. I cant see much of his face because his hair is in the way. Before Pudgy can notice him hes already talking. "So Mrs. Vernsen wanted me to come down here? This has to be a record right?"
"Your not in trouble Daren. I just need you to show Mathew around the school so he can find his classes."
"Peep squeak over there?" Great, the short jokes are the first to com out at me.
"Unless you do want to set the record, I'd watch what you say."
"Oh come on! He could be your child! You know science is the only class I aced right?" Pudgy dosnt offer him a response to this, but pulls out a green slip of paper and hands it to him after wrighting on it. He turns to me and makes a motion with his head indicating for me to follow. He takes a left turn and stops a kid and wispers in his ear who just nods his heads and laughs. Please be talking about the latest video game or something besides me. He sudenly speaks to me , "So peep squeak, the whole schools pretty easy to follow. Electives on the third floor, acedimics on the second. On the Elective floor, the arts and musics are to the left of the stairs, your gym, language, and computer stuffs to the right. Just dont go to that gym when they call all students to the gym. Thats near the main entence. There's always one feshmen."
"How's the main classes divided then? Reading and wrighting on one, match and science on another?"
"Actually, in alpebetical order of the teachers first born childs name." Haha. I look back to where im walking just in time to slam into what I beleive was a brick wall with a lot of zits, and smells. He stares at me and looks at Daren. This is the first time with in the five minutes I've been with Daren that he seems serious. "Hey man, hows everything going with the sport thingy you do?"
"For the sake of you and your short-stack friend, you better hope it goes better than last year!"
"Well Zack, in all honesty, the mashed potato flakes where suposed to stay on the feild till the sprinklers went off before the socer game. The fact it started raining unforcasted during the state final was just dumb luck.
"Well better hope your luck takes us back to state."
"Yea, yea, I get it. Its your last year on the team, you're the star quarter back this year, blah blah blah. I have a question though, does it count against my luck if you learn how to tie your own shoes, so the teachers start treating you like a big boy and grade you on your math and kick you off the team when they notice you're an idiot?" I'm not sure what happened next, but it ended with mine and Darens faces' against the wall.
"You think your funny?"
"Well I'm laughing aren't I?"
"What about you short-stack? Do you think he's funny?" I'm not sure how to respond to this, considering I can't move my jaw. "I take that as a yes. Well, I hope you have enough luck to keep you from meeting the rest of the team." He lets go of the back of my head and I still cant move my jaw.
"God, what a jerk! How was I suposed to know that it was going to rain?"
I can't help but look at him and just feel nothing but hate. My first day, and the quarter back wants to use me for a punching bag thanks to this kid. "Look, I got enough of the tour to find my way around. Thank you for your time." I go through the rest of the day with the same luck of making friends. All acedimic classes are before lunch, then everyone goes to there electives, and guess whos in all my electives? Yep, Daren. He walks in and sits in the very back of each class and just sleeps all the time. After my day is over I finaly get home. I can't wait to get some sleep after playing guitar. I geuss this is now my daily rutein. Could be worse I geuss. At least tomorrow Daren wont be around to get my face jamed into a wall tomorrow.
Chapter Two: FOR SCIENCE!
I'm woken up at six thirty to go to school. When I get out of my morning shower, I can smell the pop tarts in the toaster waiting for me. I throw on my jeans and tee shirt. At least today Im in my own clothing. I know that the whole ride to school mom will tell me how I look so much better in my outfit from yesterday, but I learned how to tune her out with that stuff. I get down stairs and she tells me that the school is going to start picking me up on the bus route. I stand outside with my pop tarts on a napkin burning my hand. When the bus pulls up I had just finished my first pop tart and im half way through the last one, and I know that they wont allow me to have food on the bus, so I shove the last half of pop tart in my mouth in one bite. The driver pulls up and ask if this is the Parker house. He looks like Pudgys brother, but with more hair. Maybe they house the family generation to generation and in return they work for the school. I respond "Meh Nerm Merther" through the mouth of pop tart and he looks at me and tells me we sit in the order were picked up and it looks like Daren is the only stop before me, so look at my new bus buddy! I unwillingly sit next to him. He's sleeping like he been heavily medicated with novicain.
Kids walk on the bus and sit down like bricks being stacked. We get to the school and without being told Daren is instanly up and jumping over me. I readjust my book-bag and walk off. I sit in the schools main halway working on a paper from my math teacher. I sudenly need to use the restroom, so I get up and start walking. It's moments like this I start to hate my memory and cant find the restroom. I'm walking down the math and science halway when Daren and the kid he talked to yesterday running down the hall being chased by Zack and his other Zit Bricks chesing them. "For football players, you'd think they could walk on a wet floor!" There's something that sounds like it's from a godzilla movie from Zack and he trips, bringing down the rest of the group following him. Daren and his friend take a sharp left into the room, grabing me with them. The three football kids are up and running past the room and down the stairs shouting at him. I'm starting to realize I'm in the chem lab. Darens the first to speak. "Just the room I wanted! The lab! Ryan, get the stuff out"
"Uhh, daren, what are you doing? This rooms restricted to seniors!"
"Oh hey, its peep sqeek. Do me a favor and get that tube down for me." He points over to the other kid who's digging through a bag big enough to hide a body in. "Thats Ryan Cho, but most of us call him Rye."
"Who's we?" He couldn't talk about me, right? Not after yesterday. Now you're probly thinking, wait, didn't you hate him? At the time, I hated him, but he was posibly refering to me as group, who was I to be picky?
"Well, we're just a group of kids, but we've lately been thinking we should start calling ourselfs the Luminati. It has a good ring to it."
"Well whos all part of this group?"
"Uhhhh, ok. Who knows of us?"
"No one." He's working on setting something up with Rye. "Now are you going to get that tube for me or what?" I scuttle to and grab a measuring tube off the shelf. "Great! now set it on the table, with the measureing lines facing towards the wall."
"Isn't that a little out of your way to see and measure? And how did you get permision to be in here?" This time it's Rye who speaks, setting a crystal pyramid on the tube, "Do you see anything we could measure in here? The other question's just as stupid, of corse we dont! But I'm hungry and theres noooo way I'm waiting till senior year to eat breakfast"
"You're breaking the rules! If you're seen in here they'll give you a detention for a week!" The two of them look at each other and just laugh. "What? What are you two even doing?" Daren looks up and whispers in Ryes ear who doesnt look up but nods an agreement. "We, have found a new way to enhance food! Picture the cooking ability of an oven, with the speed of a microwave, but smaller than a toaster! Think of the Dark Side of the Moon album cover. It's a beem of light, expanding into a wider beem, becoming less dense but wider, and wider, and wider, and even wider! If you do this with heat, hitting the tip of a glass pyramid, it does the same, but with heat! So the closer to the bottom, the hotter, but less space. It's great for things like frozen burritos, marshmellows, hot pockets! We shoot our lazer into this tube, it goes up, hits the pyramid, and it expands, making food! We just cant make soup."
"Thats great and all, but I had a pop-tart. Enjoy your week of detention" I walk out with ten minets till bell ring, so I decide to go to the library. I haven't been in there yet, so I'm not sure who the librarians are here. I ask where the fiction section is, hoping to find the Downworlders series to who I expected to be a Blond woman with long hair, when I end up getting a teen boy my age who sounds like he's trying out for a bad 80's surfer comedy. "Uhhhh, let me check the, uhhh, thing"
"You're the schools librareian?"
"I'm part of a stundent-teacher following. You can, uhhh sign up here? I think this is it."
"What do you do? And where's the actual librarian?" I realize this is a dumb question when the best awnser he gives is "Whats does what do?" I've heard stories from cops of people frying their brain with drugs, but never saw proof of that till now. If cops really wanted to, they could trick kids like that into coming into the class no problem. I just wonder if they noticed there brain frying? Or maybe your fried brain noticeing abilitys are the first ones to go? Who knows, if I dwell on it any longer, ill fry my brain thinking.
I walk into my first period of the day and the teacher hands me a copy of To Kill a Mocking Bird. Must be a woodsmen and hunting book, so it cant be that bad, right? I always enjoyed books about survival, and forest, and stuff. The teacher keeps droaning on and on about how it's a clasic, every kid must read it, vital to the times society, blah blah blah!
Between wondering about the book and what could be so special about it, Im also spending the class looking at a girl. I have no clue what her name is, but she has her face in a book, what looks like whatever the big girl fantasy book is, red curlyish hair, a tee shirt with a shirt that says "Thank you for the Vennom" witch is a My Chemical Romance reffrence, so she cant be that bad. I would have a wardrobe of My Chem shirts, GreenDay, Misfits, Nirvana, all of the great rock bands, but mom says "Those bands promote self hate, violence," and most dangerous of all, "the liberal agenda." Lets just say we strongly dissagree about music. Maybe I'll take a big step at some point this year and say, "Nice Shirt." Crazy right?
Chapter Three: Mr. Pudgy, The Puffer Fish
I follow everyone around and after the last period of they day, the school anounces a "Pep Rally" for our schools first football game. Why, why, why, why! Do they call them "Pep Rallys"? Its not like I feel pepped up after them, I just realized we're doomed. We file into the gym and sit down, football team standing in the middle of the gym. Zack in the middle of corse making sure everyone knows hes the star of the team. I also see what looks like thirty tubes pointed at the ceiling. Drama equipment maybe? Theres also a huge black sack above them. I choose to ignore it just in case the gym teacher makes us take a test on what happens.
I sit through it and just when i thought it wasent going to get any worse, the coach says he wants to introduce the band, of nearly two hundred, because there going to "Play them into state". Is our band better than the football team? I sudenly hear Daren and Rye talking when theres sudenly popping noises coming from the ceiling. Theres a chorus of "Oh my God! The schools falling down!" and "Bro! At least let me know when your going to rip one like that!" but it gets more and more frequent. Maybe the school is falling apart? Sudenly pop corn is falling from the black pouch from the ceiling, covering the whole floor, band, and football team. Daren and Rye sudenly come in with buckets of melted butter and cover the whole gym with it, shouting "Come see the premeir of 'Jock Wars IV: Revenge of the Zit' tonight!" and running past me and shoving the buckets in my hands and standing beside me. Who would have knew a teacher could pull three kids at once. Im not sure if it's to expell us for life, or save us from the buttered Zit Bricks chasing after us.
I sit in the main office with Rye and Daren who seem pretty happy with themselfs while listening to Zack and the football coach yell. "How are we suposed to get to state with those two and their newest riftrat putting our boys in danger!" geeze, you would think our teams an army and he's the general. I here a bang behind the office desk and up rises Mr. Pudgy, a bit more puddgier than I remember. A lot more red too. "Do you three even know the damages you've done? Hundreds of dollers in the tubes, another hundred in the cleaning materials, and the unfixable thigs like the burn marks in the roof! Not only that, the whole school reaks of pop corn!"
"Sir, I wasent part of this! I dont know why I'm even in here! I should be on the bus!" At this statement, its the principle walking in who speaks, "But you where. We seen the videos of you three in the chemistry lab, walking and talking togeather, your little run in with Zack. We know you wanted to get back at him. For the next week, you three are all suspended and will come in the mornings to clean up the gym. All your teachers have sent down your work alreay. I'd start soon. Mr. Porter, come to my office. You two," pointing a boney finger that almost shouts death "Get out of my school and dont come back till Monday at five A.M. Sharp." I walk back into her office when she walks in behind me closing the door. This is where I die. I knew she would be the death of me. "Mr. Porter, never before have I had a student get in trouble so quickly after coming to our school as 'the new kid'. How did you manage to get into the crowd of Daren and Ryan?" I know this is where I should get on hands and knees pleaing I had nothing to do with it, they're insaine, I hate it here, I have no friends. I have no friends. Is that why the next words out of my mouth came from? "They said I could have unlimited accsess to their burritio stash in the Chemistry lab." Was it because of every bully that I've ever been faced with? Every teacher who just said its "Play"? Sarcasim was HIGHLY frowned upon in my house, so where?
"Well, you know we regularly have food days in our spanish class?" Again, couldn't help the next words from coming out.
"But I already know the Taco Bell menu? Why speak spanish?" SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!
"Well, you can take plenty of time to learn the posible reasons you may need to learn the language while cleaning the gym!"
"Hey! I got one already! To tell the waitress her dress looks terible, but it still sounds nice because she didnt take it!" I slam out the office before any words can come out. When I get get to the front door, I'm so upset I don't nothice Zack with Rye and Daren by the shirts with his other Zit Brick friends. I fling open the door, clearly getting everyones attention. "Hey pip squeek, what did I tell you about trying to be something?"
"Leave me alone you giant wall of body oder!" He really doesn't like that and is coming to show me what he likes to do to guys like my face who talk like that. Crap.
"You know pip squeek, you coulda been like us, cool, liked, popular. But you hang with these losers? Well let me show-" Im not sure what happened, but it kinda ended with me crying in pain, a group of people saying through droped jaws "Hooollly shiiiiiiit!", and Zack on the ground, dazed. Rye and Daren just look in shoock. It finaly clicks what happened. I hit Zack. Hard. His buddys are picking up and trying to clear out. Daren is the first to speak after what feels like forever. "So, how about I give you a ride home sense I got you in trouble and you kinda, you know, saved my skin?"
"No, but Rye here does, and I think I can safely speak for both of us on this one." Rye nods his head in a greatfull agreement. "You know, Daren, my mom always told me not to get in a car with strangers, but oh well, maybe well beat the bus." The pain in my hand is slowly going away by now. Slowly.
"I dont think you'll find anyone stranger than us." He leads me to a rusty old ford van with three rows of seats. He opens the sliding door and smoke rolls out of the door and theres the kid from the library just sitting in the van. Ryes the one to speak up on this "Come on Eric! What did I say about lighting up in my van with the windows up and me not being there!"
"The window was broke"
"Did you use the key?" I know I should rethink the ride, but I still dont seem to care.
"Good god Eric, the one I tell you at least once a week, in the, say it with me, glove box!" He holds out the word glove while reaching over and opening it. "You took the weed out of the glove box, and still couldet see the key! You got to be kidding me. That was all I had! Mathew, If you ever need my van for anything, I keep a spare key in the glove box. Just dont get to where Eric is and forget that, but remember where I keep my stuff."
"You do drugs?" I can't help but see why I care. Its not like I've ever made a promise. Just keep my grades up, never said anything about who I hang with.
"Yea, you want some?" Now let me tell you about the first time you're offered. I had no need to impress these guys anymore, I just knocked out the biggest kid here in one punch. But, you seem to have the worlds biggest curiosity in the world. Why do people do it? Whats it like? Is it like they show it on TV where they all sit in a circle and tell jokes? Will this be my only chance to find out? Will it?
"Yes. I mean, sure, why not?" With a smile, Daren pulls out a bag from his back pack front pouch and opend it up while rye is pulling out paper from his glove box. They roll it, lick it, set it on fire, and hand it off to me.
"Well, here you go." Let me tell you about weed. First, it taste terible. Second, you feel like youll never breath again. And lastly, you start to think your going to just die, but then, you feel like you have no head, you get giggley, times slow, you want to watch Larry King, and you get phyliosopical. And the food. Its like twenkies have the sexual attraction of... Well, who ever you want to put as an example. Its just so weird. What feels like years later I stumble into home and I still beat mom. She must have been ubducted by aliens to be this late. God, I smell terible, i should shower. I turn on the water and put it on the mist setting. I lay in the tub still wearing my cloths when the door opens and mom walks in. "Mathew, what are you doing?"
"Im doing good" What?
"Ok, what are you doing in the shower? With your cloths on?"
"I smell. Baaaaad." Cool, im a sheep.
"Did you consider a normal shower and laundry." With a sigh she walks out. "Long day, its ok. Just take a nap like a normal person before cleaning up next time." This is the moment I should have to realized this was my one chance to get out, but hey, would it had been this fun, and bigger question is would I be sharing this story with you? I say, no. Now, heres where it gets entertaining.
Chapter Four: Meet Chad
I wake up the next day in soggy cloths on the couch. Ok, Im really not even sure how I made it to the couch. I guess im what you would call a light weight. Its saturday, so I have the day off and I look over to my alarm clock and see that its two in the afternoon. I walk down stairs to see mom sitting with a man with a militaryish looking hair cut, a lose solid green tee shirt, and blue jeans. "Mat, Id like you to meet Chad. Ive been seeing him for a while"
"This is the guy youve been seeing for the past three months?"
"Mathew! At least show some respect!"
"Mom, I didnt mean for it to sound like that. Chad, its nice to meet you. Mom, do we have any plans for today?"
"No, but your friend did call and I told him to stop by. Why didnt you tell me about your new friends?" The term saved by the bell, could not have been more accurate than it had been at that verry moment because the door bell rang and I ran to the door to open it and see Daren, Rye, and Eric all standing there. The look of shoock on moms face is to much for me to handle. The three of them standiong there, shaggy hair, tattered pants, and band tees is to just too much for mom. "Oh! There, erm, lovely!" This is where I cant help but lose it.
"Uhh, Mat, whats so funny?" I cant handle the level of cunfusions on anyones face, so I just push everyone out the door and shout back to my mom that I'll be back later.
Chapter Five: The Wall
"Well than, whats up green leaf?"
"What do you mean green leaf? Are we a cult or something and you didnt tell me Daren?"
"No, I just figured that youd have lit up before untill seeing you yesterday. Running around wearing band shirts whove all been know for weed at once is kinda like a stoners welcome mat."
"No, I just like the music! Yesterday was a big time first."
"No kidding. And we still love the music, its just a sorta two in one thing. So guys, whats our plan for the day? Im thinking we hit up the wall" another Pink Floid reffrence? Eric and Rye nod in agreement, so looks like thats where were going. I follow them till we hit a creek with old, out of use train tracks running above us. The Wall is just the spot where they keep a shelf with cans of spray paint, food, and a CD player with a stack of CD's. About twenty of them, all of witch I know by heart. Its a near perfect description of my own personal heaven. "Well Matty, this is The Wall. Whenever you need to get away, this is where you can come to. And pick a color by the way."
"A color for what?"
"You can come to this place all through your high school. We put our name up so in twenty years people will look at the names and think about everyone whos been here," He pauses and puts his hand over a name written in gold. "And maybe your story will be told. We keep bringing in freshmen to keep this place going. This year Erics leaving and he'll have to give something to the group. Most common is a CD for the colection."
"So, its like a sister hood of the travling pants thing?"
"You watched that movie?"
"No, but it sounds kinda, well, I dont even know." I look around and I cant help but feel like every one of the three that brought me here had the most important memory here, and I feel like Im going to someday feel the same way about this place. "So do we all just sit here and talk?"
"About everything and nothing under the sky" He grabs some sodas from the shelf and throws one to each of us. Warm, flat pepsi, perfect for nothing like this! we sit and we truly talk about everything and nothing. Politics, TV, drugs, bands, what we all want to be. Rye wants to be an enginer, Eric a music developer, Daren wants to be a politition. They all beleive that they can change the world in there own way. Witch makes me think and wonder if i could do something to change it? I always wanted to be an artist of some kind. Writing or music. If not those teaching. So maybe? We stay there by the wall untill its dark and my mom calls, worried about me. I tell her I'll be back in an hour, right before the suns compleatly down. Daren ask if I've ever had a black and mild. "Ummm, no. No I have not. Is it like black jelly beans?"
"No, no, no kiddo!" He pulls out what loooks like a perfectly straight thick stick with a little tip on it. He lights it up puffing it in as he lights. He exhales offering it to rye, who does the same thing. Its handed to me and I cant help but to look at it. "Relax, its nothing like what you had yesterday. Just inhale a bit, move the spit in your mouth, and exhale. No nasty after effect. I do it, and it taste just like it smelt. Like cherrys. I liked it, alot! We keep this circle going and going for the next half hour untill its gone, still talking and start headed back. I'd worry about mom finding out, but i smell like an air freshener! How could she tell? I walk in and moms still with Chad, even though hes about to leave. "Oh, Mathew, I was just about to do your mom a favor and pick you up. Guess theres no need to now that your here." He grabs mom in a PG hug and tells her that hell see her Monday. Me and mom sit down on the couch and do our normal saturday night routine. Watch TV and talk. She ask me about my day and I tell her everything, except the drug related parts. Mom tells me that well be going to the supper market tomorrow after shes done with church with her new friend. She tells me that im old enough to make my own choice, but shes not forcing me to, witch translate to, "Ill be waking you up early with cloths picked out hoping you say what I want you to say". Its not that I dont beleive, but its not that I do either. Im agnostic, and I just dont let it bother me much. But I still must be up at eleven to go to a farmers market with her. Meh, ok.
Chapter 6: God, Jesus, and the Holy Tomato
I decided I'd make mom happy and go, cant hurt anything and saved me the trouble of setting an alarm to get ready this morning. It isnt as bad as I remeber. It seems more cheerful than at my old place when mom made me go untill I was ten. Mom talked to her new friends and such, and then we left after talking to the pasture. He seemed like a cool guy. As were pulling out of the parking lot my mom talks about how shes so happy to see me opening up to new ideas and blah blah blah. All I really get out of her talking is her saying something about going and getting ice cream. No complaints about that one at all.
We pull up into the downtown area where the farmers market is at and my mom hands me twenty bucks and says to get tomatoes, carrots, and green beans for her to make diner with and use whats left to get myself something. I walk around smelling flowers, trying cheese samples, coffe samples (Wich i end up buying a two pund unnground bag of.) and other stuff. I get the carrots and green beans when I get to the tomato cart and I see my worse fear. The girl I've been staring at across the class is the one who happens to run the tomato stall that her parents sell at. And of corse sense its just a bring your table and set up shop thing i could find somewhere else right? Nope! I swallow my guts and go up. She pulls her head out of a new book and ask, "Are you that new kid who put the popcorn in the gym?" Her eyes are a bright green and look overly happy, so i couldent really stop myslef from lieing with pride and saying that I set it up and it was my idea. She finds this overly interesting and keeps talking. I hear the words, but I'm to focused on her to notice much. I'm staring at her eyes, the light freckles on her face, her braces that dont realy seem needed. All I hear is "My parents keep pushing me to go to the dance. You dont happen to be going do you?"
"There's a dance?" How early can home coming be?
"Oh yea, you're new. Every year we have a big dance to kick off the fund raising race." She says all this while putting labels on tomatoes, changing a sign, and so on. "Each week the winning class gets discount tickets. My parents being old students of this place want to see my clas get it so they can get in the games cheap, so im stuck being fairly involved with my sister."
"Well, you must get along great with your sister than?" Where is she going with this. No one in the world can posibly be this outgoing!
"Not really. Shes a senior, and like the rest of my family, into the whole farm cows and plows thing."
"I was wondering what you where doing working a farm stall" Bad lie, but it get a laugh out of her. A little to much laugh. "Is there something on my face or somethipng? It was funny, but not even laughing funny."
"No, your just the first to pick up on it without talking to me." Because the Relapse Symphony shirt of today wasent a give away? "I mean, its not like the purple skinny jeans and band tees shout farm girl." Dear god shes reading my mind! GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT BEFORE YOU FIND STUFF! I LIKE YOU! I MEAN DONT! GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT! She looks at me with a smirk on her face and I grab the first three tomatos I grab, pay her for them, and tell her "You know, dances arnt my thing, but if you ever get tired of the boys asking, you can tell them your going with me and Ill show up I guess." This may be the smothest thing I've done sense I cought that open can of Mouten Thunder half way across the room before it landed on my amp. She giggles, hands me my change, and tells me she'll keep it in mind. Score, I think? I meet up with mom in front of this small little coffee shop next to the library. "Mom, before we go, can I check out the library?"
"Well, not the whole library, but a book or two." This is mother humor. I am not a fan. Just putting it down on the record. "Ill be waiting in the coffee shop. Do you want your normal? Cappachino, no cream or sugar, with salt?" I give her the thumgs up as im half way to the library. I walk around and find the young adult section. Now that I have people I talk to, It seems weird wanting five books for one week. That used to be normal? How does... Wow. I've yet to get her name. I guess she'll stay whatsername till next monday and I'll casually ask. I pick up a few coppies of my favorit book series and open up a new account at the librarry and leave. Mom hands me my drink as we get in the car. When I get home its already five, and when we finish eating its seven, so I decide to call it an early night and go read till I fall asleep. I wonder if whatsername is reading right now?
Chapter Seven: Clean up Crew
Ok, so if I have but on regreat, its not telling the principle I had nothing to do with the pop corn fiasco. I wake up early and my mom takes me to school, thinking I have to go in early for a school project this week. I start with scraping up the butter from the floor. Can we reuse this? They have Rye and Daren working at diffrent time than me. They dont want us "Coming up with a master idea to make things worse!" So its just me, cleaning supplies, the janiter, and coach. Both of witch are giving me the worlds biggest teacher stink eye. Witch is worse than normal stink eye. In the first day I manage to clean the whole free throw section of the gym in my shift, and Rye shows up and tells me to go hang in the school librarry with Eric untill all three of us finish our shifts. I walk in and cant see or smell Eric, but I see a tall girl behind the desk and I ask here where Eric is and she says his days are on tuesdays and wednesdays. Than why did Rye have me come here! Oh well, I brought my books with me, I'll sit in a corner hidden from camras and reed for the other three days of the school week.
I sit in the corner and start reading Lemony Snickets, A Series of Unfortunate Events. Book Two: The Reptile Room. I've read it a hundred times, but I still love it. Every word and word play. Im half way through it sitting on a bean bag chair that I think is suposed to be in center library, but who am i to question it? Im so focused on my book, I dont notice a "Special Visitor". "Umm, Mat, I think your in my spot.." I nearly drop out of my seat and onto Whatsername's converse. I sputter out barly "I-I-Im So-so-sorry. H-h-here." I sit up against the wall and try and focus on my book, but keep stealing a peek or two. I think shes looking at me a time or two. "So, Mat, I had a boy ask me to the dance." My head shoots up like a dog when the door bell rings.
"Thats cool. What did you say?" What is this even about?
"I told him I already had a guy to go with." Lucky basterd.
"Why are you talking about yourslef in third person?" Shit. I compleatly forgot that I told her... That means. No. YES!
"I couldent tell you. So, umm, how do you spell your name?"
"Umm, thats a little weird. Its spelt just like how every one else with the name spells it." Uhh huh. Im sure they make "Whatsername" bracelets in gift shops. Well, maybe a green day gift shop.
"So no random vouls? Like, uhh, M-A-T-H-E-U-W"
"Umm, H-A-L-E-Y. Im not even sure where you could put an extra word in that. Is there really a U in your name?" Good going slick. Mathew with a U is the best I could do? This, THIS, is why I should have done hooked on phonex or something.
"No, just making an example, and it was the first thing to come to mind."
"Did your parents consider Hooked on Phonex for you? Worked great for me." I feel my face drop and she can see it, but she laughs, so all must be ok. "If it helps, I'm sure your great with math to do what you did to the gym." Something like that. Quick Mat, change topics!
"So do you listen to green day at all?" Where am I going with this. Ok Mat, one job, DONT FUCK IT UP!
"Yea. I just got a CD of American Idiot finaly." Oh thank god she uses CD's. "Whatsername sounds even better in the CD player speakers than my iPod.. Although I wish I could even become someones whatsername.."
"Well, maybe you and me can be Whatsisface and Whatsername." Thank you, incredible talents of Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool, and Mike Drint! "Yea, we can just skip the Intro. Its always been a litle slow for my taste." She looks at me, and im not sure if ive hit gold, or jumped off the boat with bricks straped to my ankles, and I may never know, because the bell rings, and without a word she gets up and leaves. Guess I might as well jump off the boat with the bricks now. Rye walks in. "Hey dude, nice spot you found, I cant even find the camras, I like it. Were gonna hit it up here untill Daren's done with his shift and then were going to go hit the wall."
"Sounds fine. Did you know Eric's not working today?"
"Yea. But it's not exactly like you had other plans, right? We all know you didn't tell your mom, or else youd be dead little green leaf."
"Ok, I'm getting tired of that whole green leaf thing."
"Well, lets go get you promoted!" We stand up and go out the library exit and out to Ryes van. "Just got some more yesterday." He pulls out more from his glove box and we run through the same routin. We sit in his van windows down. Now I see why he parks all the way in the back of the school parking lot. Its not as bad the second time through. I feel more relaxed from the begining. I watch the cars drive by our school and listen to Ryes idea to cover the foot ball field with smoke so thick, you could play Marco Polo in it and have it stay. He says that the Band has fire in each of their shows, and they always hold it to the ground. He says if you plant smoke bombs in each the feild and space it just right, each one would catch the next, covering the whole feild. This must be why he does drugs, its almost genious at the time. "Dosent that seem like a lot of work just for a small laugh?
"Well, yea Mat, but if you find a reason, anything can be worth it." I dwell on that. Maybe someday I'll find the reason that makes it worth telling Haley how I feel. "I cant beleive its junior year. Its so weird."
"Well, its only a few weeks into the year." Why does this matter, he shouldent be able to wait to get out of here. Theres a knock on the van door and it slides open and its Daren. "Hey green leaf, going at it for round two?"
"Daren, I think its time for the promotion. TO PRIVATE BUD!" He holds up the joint and takes a hit and passes on to daren while holding it in, and daren does the same, and I follow with, and we all exhale at the same time. We do this going in opposit circles untill its all gone. The parking lot then fills with other students and Eric gets in and we talk about where we want to go. We all agree without discussion that I need to hit up our local pizza place, Sparkys Pizza. Its not really a pizza place, its a chucky cheese kinda thing, but the pizza's great, and theres ski ball! Hell yea! We eat, we drink, we make noise, and its over all fun. I show up a group of twelve year olds at ski ball, Rye kicks ass at a shooting game, Daren trys to flirt with the cashire, and Eric sits eating pizza. I cant think of anything better, but it happens. Haley walk in and notices me and comes straight to me. "Hey Mat, Im sorry for walking out on you today, but I had class."
"Its fine, I understand." You coulda said bye?
"So why didnt you go to class? And sense when did you get first period in the library?" Uhhhhhh. Uhhhh. Uhhh. Uhh?
"I was wanting to be part of the teacher shadowing program" Thank god I got that phamplet today! "So what are you doing here?"
"I walk down here after school every day for food," Walk?!?! Its a half hour drive! How!?!? "It takes me all of a quarter hour." WHAT! I am compleatly done. "Mat, you look confused."
"Im fine. Just starting to think this place is a little childish. How about you and me hit up somewhere else?" Like where! You dont even know your way around this town, COME ON MAT! YOUR BETTER THAN THIS!
"Sounds cool! Lets walk down to the mall, its only a few blocks away." Oh. Well than, that worked out better than expected. The mall turns out to be only a few blocks away. I shout out to Rye that im leaving and in between intense gun fire he gives back an "Okay! DIE! DIE! DIE!" So gload im not that violent when im playing a game.
We get to the mall and the first part if it is the food court. Theres a crappy pretzel place, a chinese place, a Bada Bing pizza, and some other places. We decide to stop in a Bada Bing, sense I've never been there, but I've already heard quite a bit about it from the other kids at school, so why not? The pizza was ok, a little pricey, but they had these little balls of bread covered in garlic, oh dear lord jesus they where great! Togeather I think we went through at least four baskets of them. No where near healthy, but it happens. After we leave there, she takes me into a fancy (ok, polos, work dress shirt, tie, and rare semi formal) clothing store. "Hey mat, lets see if we can match for the dance!" I kinda just go with it. Best to do it now with her than mom. I try on a galore of outfits. Black dress slacks with a blue shirt and red tie. "You would look better if that had a sports jacket." Whats a sports jacket?
"Do we have to go to the baseball store across the mall for one?" Theres a solid ten second pause that feels like ten years, but she erupts into laughter. Im not sure what to do, so I laugh along with it. She runs off after giving me a normal wait here sign, and a worker walks by and I ask him what is a sports jacket. He chuckles a little and explains its the coat part of a tux. Well then. I said the baseball store. No wonder she laughed. Hely comes back as the store worker is leaving, with one of these fancy pantsy jackets. I put it on and cant help but admit I look good. With a capitol G. and lowercase O's and D's. Im not sure what im talking about, but I really do look good. And I think Haley thinks the same thing.